Unpackaged Hackney

Unpackaged is shutting down after just 12 months in Hackney

Dec 30 2013 | FOOD&DRINK

Ethical grocery, bar and restaurant Unpackaged will throw open its doors on Richmond Road for the last time next week, after its foray into Hackney didn’t work out so well.

The shop, which promises so-called organic refills to people sensibly wishing to cut out pointless plastic packaging, will have its last day’s trading on Tuesday 7 January, only a year after opening.

Despite having laudable aims, founder Catherine Conway said that when she moved the shop from Islington to Hackney in December 2012, adding a bar and restaurant into the plans had been a mistake. Catherine started the venture in Islington as a straightforward groceries shop in 2007.

The Hackney store counts popular pizzeria Lardo and new Mexican restaurant La Pinata among its Richmond Road neighbours. It will put its lease on Unpackaged up for sale, and seek another outlet elsewhere in Hackney.

Next weekend is closing down weekend, with a special “pot-luck” dinner menu on Saturday 4 January.

A statement from Catherine and the team said: “This news will certainly come as a surprise to many of you but Unpackaged Hackney is to close. Our last day of trading will be Tuesday 7th January 2013.

“When we moved from Islington to Hackney, the dream was to open a space to eat alongside the shop that would showcase the ingredients we sell and provide a place for like-minded people to meet and share ideas.

“For many reasons, the Unpackaged bar & restaurant didn’t work out and proved a distraction from the core business of Unpackaged – our retail business. Now, we have been left with premises far too big for our needs and our only option is to sell the lease. Whilst this is an unfortunate turn of events – as we were just getting settled back into the area in which we started – we will use the break to work on our next step and Unpackaged will rise stronger for the experience.”